Strike action threatened at Weetabix Kettering

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Usdaw members have voted in favour of strike action at Weetabix Kettering
Usdaw members have voted in favour of strike action at Weetabix Kettering

Related tags: Cereal, Ambient

Members of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) have unanimously voted in favour of industrial action at Weetabix’s Kettering plant, after a dispute over shift payments.

The Union anticipated that the first 24 hour stoppage would be called within a week from 28 July 2021, with further 24 and 48 hour stoppages to take place on a periodic basis until a resolution is found.

Ed Leach, Usdaw area organiser, said: ​“It is very disappointing that the company has pushed this dispute to the point of industrial action, which is very much a last resort. Clearly the 100% vote in favour shows how strongly our members feel.

Reaching an agreement

“This dispute will not be resolved until an agreement is reached on the value of the shift premium pay for unsocial hours. We urge the company to move their position to avoid industrial action and disruption to the business.”

A spokesman for Weetabix said the company was disappointed by the result, but respected the decision made by its workforce and their representatives.

“Our success over nearly 90 years is built on a strong relationship with our workforce,” ​they added. “We will remain in close consultation with them and are confident that together we can avoid any product shortages while we implement necessary new ways of working to keep our cereal bars line competitive for the next 90 years and beyond.”  

Weetabix strikes

Last month saw workers union Unite threaten strike action at Weetabix’s Northamptonshire sites, after claims that new contracts would see affected engineers lover £5,000 a year.

However, walkouts were called off following constructive talks between the union and the manufacturer, which saw Weetabix agree to not make changes to contracts until September 1 at the earliest.

Meanwhile, Unite has called off industrial action at Jacob Douwe Egberts’ Banbury plant​ in order to facilitate talks with the manufacture over ‘fire and rehire’ plans for workers.

Joe Clarke, Unite national officer for the food industry, said the jointly agreed de-escalation process presented a “corridor of opportunity” ​​for meaningful talks to overcome the impasse in discussions with JDE on the future terms and conditions for its members.

Related topics: Ambient foods, People & Skills

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